I can’t tell you how many books, websites, and magazines I’ve perused looking for ideas for my perfect cabin. The one book that stays out, stacked on top of the coffee table, wedged between the cushions of the couch, balanced precariously on the arm of my big chair, or buried under my pillow is this book my boyfriend picked up on a whim. It’s called Compact Cabins, and I love it. It’s got drawings, floor plans, and some measurements. I’ve made notes all over the pages of my favorite cabins, and even after a year of owning this book, I still go back to it.
For starters, the cabins in this book are really cabins. They aren’t fancy houses dressed up in rustic fixings and called cabins. There are no million-dollar chateau’s parading as cabins. The cabins are actually small– from a couple hundred square feet to about 900 square feet. You can’t sit down and read this book cover to cover and know how to build a cabin, but you can get a lot of great ideas for what your cabin will look like, inside and out. The book provides alternative plans for other options, such as walling in a porch to create a nice mud room.
The book holds up to note-making, drawing, and erasing. Even though I frequently write, erase, and re-write in the book, the images haven’t faded too much from the erasing. The paper is sturdy enough to handle multiple erasings. Since I don’t plan to have running water in my cabin, I make a lot of notes on how I would rather use the space the book set aside for bathrooms. I usually plan the bathroom to be more like a utility room– with a hatch where my daisy-chained battery set-up will be stored under the cabin. If necessary, I could even stick a diesel generator under there and not have to leave the comfort of the cabin to refuel or shut it off.
If the big, wide world of cabin-building seems a little over-whelming, I highly suggest the book Compact Cabins. It was fun to read and browse through, and I always grab for it when I try to explain what I want in a cabin.